autumn flowers

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Common name:  Kangaroo Paw

Botanical Names: Anigozanthos

Origin: Western Australia

Colours: from green to yellow, bronze to red and pink.

This unusual looking plant gets it’s name from the furry paw-shaped flowers it produces.  The Latin name anigozanthos is pronounced ANNY-goz-an-thos. Kangaroo Paws have tall sturdy stems that branch out, the flowers are perched at the top of each branch, each flower tip opens into a tubular flower.  The brightly coloured flowers are covered in tiny hairs which give the flowers a velvety feel.

They are grown as house plants, but more commonly seen as cut flowers. As a plant they like full sun and well-drained soil, they should be kept inside your house or conservatory, you can put them outside in the summer.

The attractive flowers can last several weeks in a vase if the stem ends are regularly trimmed.  Kangaroo Paw is available in lots of colours, but in particular many autumn shades like burnt oranges, reds and browns.



Flowercouncil of Holland

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Common name: Dahlia

Botanical Names: Dahlia

Origin: Mexico, Central America and Columbia

Colours: all except blue

Dahlias were first discovered in Mexico in the 16th century and noted as a medicinal plant.  They were brought to Madrid in 1789 and grown in the botanic garden. They are named after Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, and pronounced DAY-lee-a.  Since 1813 commercial growers have bred dahlias and produced thousands of types, including pompoms, cactus and waterlily varieties.


Dahlias are prized by gardeners for their magnificent flowers and often exhibited in horticultural shows and competitions. As Dahlias come from tropical regions they are not suited to temperatures below freezing.  It is recommended to lift the tubers and store them over winter in a frost free place.  The plants can range in height from 30cm for dwarf varieties up to 6m for the giant Tree dahlia. Some varieties produce flowers as large as a dinner plate.

They are popular as a cut flower and available mainly from June to October. Dahlias come in many colours and lots of them are vibrant or two tone shades.  They should be bought in a mature stage and handled with care as the open flowers are delicate.  They have a vase life of up to a week. They are also available as a British grown flower in late summer.


They are popular for weddings flowers as their peak season is through the summer.  The perfectly uniform flowers look lovely used en masse in compact bridal bouquets or table arrangements.  The British grown dahlias are often sold in bunches of gorgeous mixed jewel colours.

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autumn flowers

Everyone knows pumpkins make fun lanterns for Halloween, but did you know pumpkins also make great containers for autumn flowers.  Pumpkins look gorgeous with rich shades of autumn flowers.  I’ll tell you how to make your own autumnal pumpkin arrangement in a few simple steps. Before you get started you need to gather a few bits and bobs; a few fresh flowers in autumnal tones, some foliage, a block of floral foam and a few pieces of cellophane.  You can get most of your equipment from a florist shop; if you’ve got a garden have a look for any autumnal foliage you can forage to go in your arrangement.

Before you buy your pumpkin think about how big you want your arrangement to be, as your finished arrangement will be three times the height of the pumpkin.  So if you have a tiny space to display your arrangement in don’t buy a monster pumpkin.

To start slice the top off the pumpkin and scoop the flesh out.  Soak your floral foam in a bucket of water.  While your foam is soaking fill the bottom half of your pumpkin with scrunched up cellophane.  Cut a large piece of cellophane and place your oasis on it’s end in the centre of the cellophane.  Place the oasis and cellophane in the pumpkin, cut the oasis off about two inches above the top of the pumpkin and chop the leftover piece into two wedges, these can be pushed either side of the oasis in your pumpkin to make it fit snugly.  Trim off any excess cellophane.

pumpkin arrangement

You can now start putting your foliage and flowers into the oasis.  I used a mixed bunch of autumn flowers and a few berries and twigs from my garden.  Add the foliage first to make the outline for your desire shape and then follow that shape with your flowers.  If you’ve got any lovely autumn coloured leaves in your garden add them to your design.  When you’ve added all your flowers, check for any gaps where you can see the oasis and add some more foliage at those places.

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An Autumn Wedding

autumn wedding flowers

This time last year I had the pleasure of providing wedding flowers for some good friends of mine.  It’s always extra special when you personally know the bride and groom, and they had also asked me to be a bride’s maid.  It was a gorgeous wedding at The Inn at Whitewell, in The Forest of Bowland.  The ceremony was held at St Hubert’s Dunsop Bridge, a few miles from Whitewell.  Before the ceremony guests were treated to a string quartet in the church and then afterwards at the reception.  Rose buttonholes with ivy leaves were worn by the wedding party.  The wedding reception took place in a marquee at the Inn at Whitewell. There are fabulous views from the inn across the river Hodder and parkland beyond.

The bride picked beautiful bottle green dresses for the bridesmaids.  After much deliberation (and several mood boards) an autumnal palette was decided on for the flowers.  The bridal bouquet was a large informal handtied bouquet.  The flowers centred on cherry brandy roses, these stunning roses were featured in all the wedding designs.  They have red outer petals and open into a warm orange.  Other flowers featured were mango calla lilies, burnt orange freesia, pincushion proteas, orange gerberas and hypericum berries.


A smaller version of the bridal bouquet was carried by the bride’s maids, which looked stunning against the deep green dresses.  The flower girl wore an ivory dress with a green sash and carried a gold wand with a single cherry brandy rose.  Marquees are perfect blank canvas for any colour scheme, the rich colours of the reception flowers made it feel warm and inviting.  The table designs were candle arrangements in baskets using roses, gerberas and freesia. I also used larch branches and red oak leaves to emphasis the autumnal feel.

The bride wanted the cake to be simple and elegant so we scattered some cherry brandy petals around it and on the cake table.  It was an elegant three tier design simply iced and decorated with green ribbon and diamante buckles.  In the evening the fairy lights covering the ceiling gave the wedding a warm glow which perfectly complemented the candlelight of the table arrangements.

A fabulous weekend was had by everyone who attended.  The weather stayed fine all day and the sun even made an appearance for the photos.  I wish the bride and groom every happiness in their life together!

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Green Chrysanthemum

Common name: Mums, Chrysanths

Botanical Names: Chrysanthemum

Origin: China and Japan

Colours: all except blue, however dyed blue are sometimes available

Their name comes from the Greek word krus anthemon which means gold flower.  They are now available in many colours and thousands of varieties.  Often called chrysanths, the spray type have lots flowers on each stem.  There are many types of chrysanthemum such as stallion, spider, button and spoon.  Chrysanthemum blooms are specially grown, removing any side shoots to concentrate all the plants energy on producing one large central flower.

Tom Pearce Chrysanth

Chrysanthemums are the national flower of Japan and a symbol of royalty to the Chinese.  The Chinese consider them the flower of autumn, although they are available all year round.  Superb English grown Chrysanthemums are available in autumn.

Chrysanthemums have been very popular for years in the UK due to their amazing longevity and reasonable cost.  Although they were seen to be out of fashion in recent years.  They have made a big come back with the introduction of many new varieties and colours.

Some of our particular favourites are Tom Pearce, which is a rich two tone bronze and gold bloom with petals that curve upwards, Chrironne Pluis a fabulous vivid green button Chrysanthemum that’s often mistaken for a different type of flower due to its unusual appearance and Artist Pink Improved, a white spray Chrysanthemum with a purple/cerise fleck through each petal.

We use Chrysanthemums in many types of floristry such as gift bouquets, funeral flowers and event work.  They are very hardy and last well in warm conditions.  Chrysanthemums work particularly well in massed funeral work such as the heart shown below.  The uniform shape of the flower heads helps creates a solid effect when placed closely together.

chrysanth heart

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